Is it confusing for my son when I hang out with him and his mother after I moved out only two months ago? Is it giving him false hope that we will reconcile? For example, I don’t have a television, so “Jane” asked if I would like to watch the game with our son at her house.
Dear Concerned Parent,
My first question is about you…are YOU confused about hanging out with the other parent so soon after you separated? Check in with yourself to see how YOU feel about hanging out. Does it feel good? Then continue to do it. Is it causing you to feel conflicted? Then maybe you could limit the times you see your son in a family setting until you feel less conflicted. It’s wonderful that you and your son’s mother have made a change in your relationship so amicably and family outings are a lovely way to create continuity in your son’s life.
I think your child could want you two to reconcile regardless of whether you hang out as a family or not. Oftentimes, even in highly conflictual relationships, children don’t want their parents to separate or live in different homes. Having said that…you may want to check in with your child. Maybe identify the feelings he may not be able to articulate himself about the potential confusion. Encourage him to ask questions and speak openly with you, such as “Even though Mommy and I don’t live together anymore, we still love each other and you and we will always be a family, no matter where we live.”